The first part of our reconvened meeting is beautiful. The ever diplomatic and articulate Rick Harcum explains the bill that is up for a public hearing this evening. You see folks, back in 2010 the BOCC re-allocated the Recordation tax fees from agricultural preservation, parks and school management and put it into the General Fund. At that time, they added a Sunset Provision that said this would all end in five years time. Mr. Harcum praised this act as one was necessary in lean financial times, and as a result of having a Sunset Provision, also recognized that times wouldn’t always be tough.
Fast forward to 2014, the BOCC amended this bill to deter funds from the nursing home to the General Fund and according to the county attorney, wiped clean everything in the 2010 bill,including the Sunset Provision. This proposed bill will re-allocate those funds back into agricultural preservation, parks and the schools. Jerry later remarks in his council member comments, that he believes that all this was done so the BOCC could say they achieved the constant yield. The people who came to speak were in favor of re-allocating the money back. The only naysayer was Tony. He implied that Mr. Harcum was being dishonest in his characterization of these funds as since they were placed in the General Fund they could be allocated to parks, agricultural preservation, and schools if the County Executive so wished. Mr. Harcum then replied that puts them in competition with everything else in the budget.To which Tony still says is misleading. I think we all know that when money is specifically mandated for a purpose in the budget then we recognize as a community, how important that purpose is to us. But kudos Tony for trying to muddy an issue that was crystal clear.
Now it’s time for the sad time of the meeting…council member comments.
Lots of head shaking from Kirby tonight. It’s his Night O’ Apologies! He wants us all to recognize how sad it is to be in business in Frederick County. He tells the sad tale of a business owner in New Market, salt of the Earth people, who after 27 years of selling mulch and top soil are having their lives ruined by the county. Just like the wedding venues and Mr. Natelli. RUINED. He also laments the fact that for the past 7 months or so the county hasn’t been able to find someone to fill the empty Emergency Management Position. “Everyday”, says Kirby, “things get worse and worse around here.”
Billy claims that there are billboards throughout Coal Country PA that state: “Thank you Frederick County for voting against Solar!”. We think this is probably a huge lie, but hey snap a pic Billy so we can see the evidence. We’ll admit it if we are wrong! If it is true, then the billboard owners have been misled as the solar bill has been tabled pending amendments. Billy also laments the sad state of affairs that business owners have to put up with in this county. He’s also sure that Bud is corrupt because he won’t fall into any of Billy’s question traps.
Jessica,after saying some nice things about the Girl Scouts and county staff, lists all the ways Frederick County has been friendly to business. Namely:
- The AstraZeneca deal
- Tax credit for manufacturers
- Small business tax credit
She also reminds Billy that we have not voted against solar power. Which is a curious thing for him to be confused about.
M.C. has to spend her time refuting the bookends. Says she would rather find the right person to fill the Emergency Management Services position then to just hire the first person off the street. And that New Market business that Kirby is claiming the county has ruined? Well, a neighbor of theirs filed a complaint with the county since they have been operating outside of proper zoning. And when the county receives a complaint, they have to investigate and uphold county law. M.C. says that the county is looking for ways to work with the business. So perhaps things aren’t as dire as Mr. Negative would lead us to believe. She also reminds us to lock our cars, as the police say most car thefts are a result of unlocked vehicles.
M.C. ends her comments reminding the naysayers to respect their fellow council members. She gently tells them they we all spend a lot of time working on these issues and to disparage people just because they come to a different conclusion just isn’t right. While we agree with you M.C., we don’t see that happening from that bunch any time in the near future.